“Concordia Base, this is the Constellation, we have joined the line.”
The vast warship joined the throng of others moving to intercept an enemy of immeasurable strength.
“Data received, good luck Constellation.”
“All carriers, deploy fighters”
Bright blue streaks launched from the gargantuan space hulks, a seemingly endless stream of death.
“All forces, this is Grand Admiral Global, we stand at the end of time, the end of our world, we all know that there is no hope for us. However, despite our hopeless situation, you must know that every minute you hold another escape ship may reach the great gate leaving this system, our home for all time and we pray flinging them far beyond the reach of these monsters. We did not ask for this battle yet now we have no choice every last one of us will fight until there is no fight left. We will struggle, first with the atomics, then the lasers, then the conventionals and then when those run dry we shall fling our bodies at them. Remember that there is nothing more between the gate and the enemy, we are it. Well, that’s enough from me, give them hell, let the heavens hear our death cry and send our enemies to hell.”
“This is Wing Commander Archibald, are all crews ready for this?”
Eren sighed at the chatter on the radio. “Game over” he whispered to himself and tapped a picture of an adorable girl on a stage somewhere far away. He could hear his wingmates sounding off. His turn came around and he called in “Brown Eight, ready.”
His sensors indicated that the nukes had been launched from the capital ships, wave after wave of them.
“Well guys, been a real pleasure.”
A minute past and then the depths of space glowed brighter than a sun. His scanners faltered.
“Damn, it’s like we burnt the whole god damn universe.”
“Yeah, maybe a million years from here another desperate race will see our star light up for a moment and wonder what the fuck we were doing,” Eren responded.
“They’re through.” The comms operator said dispassionately.
The sky lit up with the massive lasers from the monolithic warships.
“Fighters, provide screens, engage according to directives from mother ships.”
With that, the fighters blasted at full speed ducking and weaving between white-hot fusion lasers, plasma bolts and invisible chunks of tungsten fired by the rail cannons. Between the dense cloud of death, they would find their prey, enemy combat craft armed with a multitude of weapons more than capable of shredding the warships of the fading human world. Eren found one after another, hugging them tightly, weaving impossibly forcing mistakes as though he were superhuman. His comrades though faired worse, with five minutes ten was reduced to five, Eren switched focus to clearing the tails of his recently found comrades between which he tracked down and put a stop to seemingly endless waves of fighters and bombers.
After ten minutes he pulled the trigger again and it clicked, he’d not noticed his weapons were almost out. He clicked his tongue and spun his ship to the Constellation. “Brown eight coming in for resupply.”
He slipped through the endless hail of death, a ship on his tail vaporising at some point as a couple of kilos of tungsten moving at near luminal speeds impacted with it. He took a moment to look at the picture on his cockpit as his ship smashed into the gravity net.
“How are things?”
“As you can expect, about forty per cent of the fighter screen is gone and the capital ships are coming under tremendous fire.” The young engineering tech said, as her fingers flit over the console in front of her. “Good luck Eren.”
“You to You.” He nodded, dropped his canopy and blasted out of the hanger. She saluted him.
He checked his chronometer, it had been another fourteen minutes since he’d reloaded, he was conserving his ammunition better now. Though local space was full of auto resupply ships jettisoned from capital ships that had ceased to exist. His scanners showed that only about 20% of their force remained and the enemy had breached the line for the gate. He ran some calculations and nodded. He turned his comms system to broadcast.
“This is Eren Hayase to all remaining fighter squadrons and bombers, maintaining the line is impossible and the breaches are overwhelming, our command structure has collapsed and our mother ships are in ruins.” He paused. The people left alive were either the luckiest or the best, he expected that most of the busybodies were long since gone. “Tactical analysis of our situation says we should chase those ships that have breached the line, we must protect the escape craft and abandon the capital ships to their fate. They are already lost.” With that, he spun his ship towards the gate and activated his afterburner. Unsure as to whether anyone else would follow, and in all honesty with little interest.
He noted that the Constellation launched a number of auto reloaders in the direction of the escape fleets, they clearly agreed with his proposition, he set about joining with one of them to reload and refuel. He could see parts of the Constellation evaporate under fire. Before she vanished in a white flare. He blinked and disconnected from the rearming pod.
“What a fucking day.” Eren shook his head.
“I hear that.” Another voice over the comms. Then more chatter.
“Let’s see if we can’t buy a bit more time.”
“Let’s finish this.”
“I left the light on in my bathroom!”
“Fucking moron” Laughter at the end of time.
Eren smiled and tapped the photo. “Good luck kid.” He whispered.